Extension Springs vs. Torsion Springs

Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

Most home owners when faced with the idea of a new garage door or garage door and garage door opener are astounded by the number of decisions that they are approached with. There are questions like how many cars do you own? That’s a pretty easy one. Carriage style doors or traditional garage doors? That requires a bit more thought. And even questions like jackshaft or chain drive garage door opener? These are all questions you will be faced with and things that you probably haven’t done all too much research on because you have had other things on your mind. If you have already done the research on those questions then good for you, you are ahead of the game. One of the more important decisions you will be making, because of the safety precautions it relates to, is the installation of or springs that come with your garage door. Garage door springs may seem like an otherwise unassuming part just like the rest of your garages parts, but they are truly one of the most important parts of you garage because the integral to its function and can be extremely dangerous to you and your property if overlooked. When it comes to garage door springs there are two different types to choose from really, there are extension springs and torsion springs.

The first type of garage door spring is the ever popular extension spring. Extension springs are usually mounted above the horizontal tracks of the garage door. These garage door springs, like their name might suggest, stretch or extend as the garage door opens which provides the counterbalancing force needed to move the door. The major downfalls of extension springs are that they can be more dangerous and less durable than the other type of garage door springs. However, their major draw is that they are much cheaper to produce and so are often used by home owners who are looking mainly for the aesthetic value of a new garage door or simply want their garage door to open now and don’t want to put in any cent extra. Despite the downfalls of being cheaper and more dangerous these types of garage door springs are still the more popular of the two. Additionally the idea of them being dangerous has been partially mitigated by the introduction of safety cables. These cables help to prevent the extension springs from going too wild when they break which means less of a safety risk for home owners. However because these springs are placed in a more accessible spot they will continue to be the more dangerous of the two which makes them harder to replace as professional assistance is almost definitely required. This is all the more important because they are the type of spring more prone to breaking and needing replacement.

The second type of garage door spring is the torsion spring. Torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs for a variety of reasons, but they also are more durable and offer better balance to the garage door than extension springs. Torsion springs are mounted above the garage door in most cases and coil and uncoil depending on the amount of force applied to or let out by them. Torsion springs have less stress put on them and are less exposed than extension spring making them generally more durable and safer than extension springs. Because of the way they absorb and give out energy they are less susceptible to the stretching and weakening that can off balance a garage door, although that’s not to say it can’t happen. Torsion springs are a great choice if you are looking to save money in the long run by spend a little bit up front. Torsion springs will last you sometimes twice as long as extension springs and will also mean fewer trips from the garage door repairman which means smaller bills. Torsion springs need to be sized much more specifically than extension springs which is one reason that they cost more. This can also mean that when your torsion springs finally give out on you down the road that you may need to wait slightly longer for replacements than you would if you had extension springs. While this isn’t really a terrible sacrifice to make for the money saved and the better performance it is something to think about if you can’t deal with an extra day’s wait in repairs down the road.
Garage door springs are one of the spots where you don’t want to skimp wifi you are a home owner because of the danger they can pose if you end up getting the wrong springs or a poor installation. For that reason it is best to do your research before purchasing and getting them installed to be assured that you are not only getting a good value but you are getting a quality installation that will keep you and your family safe. With this in mind it is recommended by many that you go with torsion springs if you plan on living in your home for a long period of time especially. The investment will surely pay itself off barring any major accidents and you may even be able to go through your lifetime at your home without ever replacing the garage door or springs again. Garage door renovation is one of the best places to put your money when looking to sell in the near future, because of the tremendous return on investment, and so the decision to spend just a little bit more for a longer lasting garage door spring really isn’t too tough of one. If you plan on keeping your garage door springs for a long time in working order remember to maintain them by making sure they don’t rust over and keeping them lubricated every few months. This type of maintenance will keep your garage door springs safer and more durable for longer which will save a bit in the long run as well.

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